With the introduction of Web 2.0, technology the world entered a new era
of Information. Web 2.0 did what the television and radio could not
accomplish for more than 100 years since the first anthropogenic radio
signal was transmitted. A drastic shift in the computing paradigm is
steadily submerging the world into the
Cloud. The "Sharing made easy" concept is constantly testing the
of the established legal systems around the world.
The public at large is no longer a passive consumer of media, but rather
it is an active participant, shaping the Internet, expressing its voice,
and setting the trends. Rapid proliferation of social media is, by far,
one of the most significant milestones in the evolution of the Internet.
It would be foolish of any government on the Globe to underestimate the
power of social media. There are lessons yet to be learned from the role
of YouTube, Twitter,
and Facebook in the Arab
that dominated the news feeds in early 2011.
number of Internet users and the amount of information they generate
each day is astonishing. At the time of writing this article, Facebook,
for example, connected 840 million active users; that is 12% of Earth’s
population. Many of those users upload hundreds or even thousands of
pictures and videos. The modern IT industry is facing difficulties
coping with its user base of unprecedented proportions. As a
consequence, major Internet operators even developed their own solutions
to the data storage, retrieval and processing problems that became the
industry's standards. We already discussed the
NoSQL paradigm used in scalable and highly distributed data systems. The
advance of these data systems has allowed for the continued success of
platforms relying on connecting and storing data for millions of users.
Social media is tantamount to establishing profitability through
advertising revenue. Selling ads has always been a profitable business,
however, the social aspect of the Internet gave a new breath of life to
the online advertising. It has been well understood that whoever has
access to the user generated content will have a competitive edge over
their rivals by means of targeted advertisements. Personal user
information contains a wealth of data revealing many trends that
currently prevail in our society. Facebook is a pioneer, and so far, it
has been the leader on the social media horizon. The recent valuation of
\$100 billion on the brink of its IPO placed the company
among the top giants of the IT industry such as
Apple, Microsoft, and
Google. Among Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Tobacco, a new force on the stock
market is emerging dubbed Big Data.
Despite of its enormous potential, the social domain of the Internet is
not completely explored. The unknown lies ahead of it and no-one can
predict the path and the shape it will take. Although successful, some
companies are having challenges in the social market. Twitter has become
an important player and a major news source. Nonetheless, it is having
difficulties to monetize itself. Google is struggling trying to make YouTube
At the same time being late to the game, it is trying to tap into the
treasures of private data by relentlessly promoting its own social
network via Google+. Google’s efforts in this
direction so far have been in
Privacy related legal
are hindering the social media all over the world. In the wake of legal
troubles, many social networks started
their users to have more control over their privacy. Facebook is playing
a balancing game trying to remain within legal boundaries and yet
attempting to collect as much information as possible.
Privacy issues became important not only to social network operators,
but sometimes even to their users. Thus social evidence is becoming
admissible in the court of law.
Insurance companies are
denying health coverage based on the information stored in social networks.
Posting certain information can be very costly and often
Searching social networks is challenging for any search engine primarily
due to the proprietary nature of the collected information. Naturally,
any enterprise will try to reduce or eliminate competition. Social
networks are not willingly ready to share their information with the
outside world. In addition, social network users become more aware of
the danger related to having personal data public. As a result, this
information is available to the members of the same network only.
Resultly does not underestimate the “Power of
Social”, and social search is an integral component of Resultly. It is
hard to imagine a real-time search engine without social interactions.
And thus, the search becomes social with Resultly.